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Literatures in Spanish & Portuguese: Beginning Your Research

An introductory guide to doing research in Spanish and Portuguese language, literature, and cultural studies.

Online Spanish and Portuguese Language Tools

Beginning Your Research

There are many different resources to use to find information on Iberian and Latin American langauges and literatures.  For places to search for books, click on the "Finding Books" tab.  A good way to begin searching for books is to use MELVYL, which allows you to search in all of the UC Libraries.  If you need more materials, you can then expand out to Libraries Worldwide.  Links to Melvyl and other resources for books (such as the UCSD-Specific Library Catalog, ROGER) can be found on the "Finding Books" Tab.  Theses and Dissertations are also featured on the "Finding Books and Articles" Tab.  Although they are unpublished book-length works, they are often important sources of original information and their bibliographies can lead you to other sources.

To locate academic journal articles, use the various databases listed on the "Finding Articles" Tab. News sources are listed on another tab at the top.

Excellent Starting Points for research in Iberian and Latin American Languages and Literatures Include:

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an excellent resources for books, periodicals, manuscripts, newspapers, and archival materials in print, microfilm, and digital formats.  UCSD belongs to this international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries, which allows UCSD patrons to borrow CRL material via interlibrary loan for extended periods.   

CRL research Guides on Latin American Studies and Literature point to important CRL resources in Spanish and Portuguese Literature.  These include:

  • Conquistadors: The Struggle for Colonial Power in Latin America, 1492-1825 (Primary Source Microfilm).  Collection features expedition records, original letters and maps of exploration and colonization, and "diaries of discoveries" from South America, from narratives of Columbus' first voyage (at Sloane Ms 1709) to the end of Colonial Spanish rule. The set covers European exploitation, evangelization, and botanical and geographical exploration in South America from Texas to Tierra del Fuego, and features maps, scrolls, descriptions of voyages by sea and river, terrain, flora and fauna, settlement posts, plantations and mines, missionary activities, and "diaries of discoveries" from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Florida, Guatemala, Guiana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Patagonia, Peru, Puerto Rico, Texas, Uruguay, Venezuela and the West Indies.
  • Early Printed Books on Religion from Colonial Spanish America, 1543/44-c. 1800 (Brill).  Collection of more than 400 printed works from colonial Spanish America, including catechisms, devotional works, hagiographies, religious biographies, orders, sermons, and more. The majority of works are from Mexico and Peru.  See the online guide/bibliography.
  • Hispanic Culture Series (Alternative Title: Spanish, Portuguese ,and Latin American books before 1601).  Based on the following bibliographies: Penney, Clara Louise, ed.  List of Books Printed Before 1601 in the Library of the Hispanic Society of AmericaThomas, Henry, Short-title Catalogues of Spanish, Spanish-American and Portuguese Books Printed before 1601 in the British Museum; Simon Diaz, Jose. Bibliographia de la Literatura Hispanica. 
  • Medina's Biblioteca hispano-americana (General Microfilm Company) [1493-1810].  Set contains microfilm copies of titles in Medina's bibliography and represents a history of the Spanish-speaking peoples of the western hemisphere.  The completed project will include over 8,000 titles.
  • Spanish Drama (General Microfilm Company).  Guide: Thompson, Lawrence S. Bibliography of Spanish Plays on Microcards.  Continuing project; complete set is expected to include about 12,000 Spanish, Catalonian, and South American plays from the 16th-19th centuries.